Office for Victims of Crime
International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program Report to Congress
NCJ # 244512

This e-publication provides essential background information about the International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP)—how it came into existence, its role in assisting victims of international terrorism and mass violence, and how the reimbursement process works. Companion reports summarizing annual program activities and statistics are also available, starting with the September 2008–August 2009 reporting period.

About This Report

The establishment of the International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP) in 2006 enabled the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to take an important step forward in responding to the needs of victims of international terrorism. The creation of ITVERP broke new ground in the field of victim services and filled a critical gap in outreach for this population of crime victims.

As mandated by Congress, OVC must submit annual reports on ITVERP activities that include the following:
  • An explanation of the procedures for filing and processing applications for reimbursement.
  • A statistical analysis of the assistance provided under the program, including—
    • The number of applications for reimbursement submitted.
    • The number of applications approved and the amount of each award.
    • The number of applications denied and the reasons for denial.
    • The average length of time needed to process an application.
    • The number of applications in process.
    • The estimated future liability of the program.
  • A description of the procedures and policies instituted to promote public awareness of the program.
  • An analysis of future program needs and suggested program improvements.
Each annual report showcases OVC’s efforts to implement ITVERP and enhance benefits and services to victims of international terrorism during a 12-month period. Although previous reports have been published in print format, the current report and successive reports are being made available online for users’ ease of reference and cost-effectiveness. Copies may be downloaded by those preferring print versions of the reports.

Message From the Director

We live in a world where international terrorism is a constant threat to our national security and personal safety. U.S. citizens living, working, or traveling abroad, and foreign nationals working on behalf of the United States Government, are often targets of international terrorist attacks. The physical and psychological effects experienced by victims of international terrorism are devastating and long lasting.

In the past, the only resource for many victims of acts of international terrorism was their state victim compensation program, as provided by the 1984 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA). Because each state and territory determined its own level of funding and assistance, victims of the same act of terrorism occurring abroad, who were residents of different states, received different levels of compensation from these programs.

In 2000, in response to inconsistencies in crime victim compensation benefits across state lines, Congress established the International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP). ITVERP ensures that all eligible victims of acts of international terrorism and their families receive equitable financial assistance, regardless of the victim’s legal state of residence. ITVERP became fully operational in October 2006, and has since been among the Office for Victims of Crime’s (OVC) most important initiatives. As a unique, federal direct service program, ITVERP enables OVC to reimburse victims of international terrorism for certain expenses they incur as a direct result of their victimization.

For many years, OVC has worked to address gaps in victim services and provided funding to administer state-based compensation programs for victims of crime. OVC’s expertise in this area enhances ITVERP’s ability to address the significant financial hardships often encountered by U.S. citizens victimized by international terrorism. As a payer of last resort, ITVERP may reimburse eligible victims for medical, mental health, funeral and burial, property loss, and certain miscellaneous expenses.

In recent years, coordination with other federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Security Division, and the U.S. Department of State, has substantially increased ITVERP’s ability to conduct outreach to potential claimants and increase public awareness of the program and the benefits it provides. It is our goal to make ITVERP known to all victims who can be helped by the program and to ensure that OVC will be able to provide the assistance they need well into the 21st century.

Joye E. Frost
Director
Office for Victims of Crime

ITVERP Program Description

Legislation and Funding

In 2000, Congress amended the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) of 1984, Public Law 98-473 (codified at 42 U.S.C.§ 10601 et seq.), to include authorization for OVC to establish a federal program that would uniformly and equitably provide assistance to victims of designated terrorist acts for certain expenses, regardless of the victim’s legal state of residence. This program became the International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program (ITVERP). Eligible victims include U.S. nationals, and foreign nationals working for the U.S. Government at the time of the terrorist act. The program became operational on October 6, 2006, when final regulations (28 C.F.R. part 94) governing the program went into effect.

ITVERP is funded through the Antiterrorism Emergency Reserve (the Emergency Reserve), a component of the Crime Victims Fund (the Fund).i The Fund is financed by fines, forfeitures, and penalties paid by convicted federal criminal offenders, as well as gifts, donations, and private bequests. It does not use tax dollars. The OVC Director may authorize the use of funds from the Emergency Reserve for the following purposes:
  • To fund ITVERP;
  • To support compensation and assistance services for victims of domestic terrorism or mass violence;
  • To support assistance services to victims of international terrorism; and
  • To transfer funds to U.S. district courts to cover the costs of special masters appointed to hear damage claims in certain cases brought under the terrorism exception to foreign sovereign immunity.

Through ITVERP, OVC provides reimbursement to victims of international terrorism and their families for expenses related to medical care, funeral and burial expenses, repatriation of remains, mental health counseling, property loss, and miscellaneous expenses, such as emergency travel.

Eligibility

ITVERP is authorized to reimburse eligible victims of acts of international terrorism that occur outside the United States for expenses incurred as a direct result of their victimization. Individuals eligible for reimbursement include U.S. nationals and officers, employees, and contractors of the Federal Government, including foreign nationals.ii In the case of a victim who is incompetent, incapacitated, deceased, or a minor, a family member (spouse, parent, child, sibling, or other person at the discretion of the OVC Director) or legal guardian may apply for and receive reimbursement on behalf of the victim. A victim, family member, or legal guardian who applies for ITVERP reimbursement is referred to as a claimant.

Reimbursable Expenses

Exhibit 1 identifies the types of expenses for which eligible claimants may request reimbursement.

Exhibit 1: ITVERP Expense Reimbursement Categories and Limits

The following expenses are not eligible for reimbursement:
  • Attorneys’ fees and other legal expenses;
  • Lost wages;
  • Payments for pain and suffering; and
  • The loss of enjoyment of life or of consortium.

ITVERP regulations also stipulate that OVC cannot provide reimbursement for expenses for which the claimant already received compensation or reimbursement. These ineligible expenses are referred to as collateral sources. Examples of collateral sources include workers’ compensation payments and insurance benefits. Life insurance proceeds are generally not considered a collateral source because they do not compensate claimants for specific out-of-pocket expenses. The definition of collateral sources for ITVERP’s purposes is consistent with other provisions relating to crime victim compensation programs under VOCA.

Application Types

Claimants may request reimbursement using one of three types of applications:
  • Interim Emergency—For claimants seeking funds for an immediate need, such as medical treatment, short-term lodging, or emergency transportation. Emergency requests are processed based on the determination by the OVC Director that a payment will avoid or mitigate substantial hardship that may arise from delaying reimbursement.
  • Itemized—For claimants making a first-time request to be reimbursed for out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Supplemental—For claimants incurring additional expenses or whose expenses have changed since they first applied for funding (e.g., bills received late or for newly required services).

Filing Deadlines

The deadline to submit an application for ITVERP reimbursement is based on the date of the act of international terrorism, as illustrated in exhibit 2.

Exhibit 2: Deadlines for Filing an ITVERP Claim

Procedures for Filing and Processing an Application

OVC has an established procedure for receiving, tracking, and processing applications for reimbursement. The average processing time for paid claims is 285 days. The ITVERP claims process is described below and illustrated in exhibit 3.

Exhibit 3: ITVERP Claims Process

Intake

Intake begins when OVC receives the application for reimbursement, which the claimant must complete and submit by mail. Application materials can be downloaded and printed from the ITVERP Web page or obtained by request via the ITVERP toll free line (1–800–363–0441).

Eligibility of Claimant

Upon receipt of an application, ITVERP reviews the documentation provided to assess whether the claimant is eligible for reimbursement. This involves—
  • Application review: All applications are assigned to a case manager, who reviews the information submitted by the claimant to assess the completeness of the application. Within 5 business days of receipt of the application, the case manager mails the claimant a letter acknowledging receipt of the application. The case manager also contacts the claimant to obtain any missing or additional information needed to process the claim. The claimant has 120 calendar days to provide the requested information; otherwise, the claim will be moved to inactive status until the information is provided. The claimant is notified of this deadline every 30 days via written correspondence.

    ITVERP regulations allow only one application per victim to be filed. A claim is ordinarily filed by the direct victim of the terrorist act; however, a family member can file the claim on behalf of the direct victim. When a family member files, they have to collect information for all qualifying expenses from those who incurred expenses on behalf of the victim. Although only the direct victim or a family member (or legal guardian) is authorized to file the claim and receive reimbursement, the funds reimbursed by the program may then be distributed among others who incurred expenses. While such expenses were initially paid by others, the claim for reimbursement is based on the injury suffered by the direct victim.

    The only exception to this occurs when family members such as the spouse, children, parents, and siblings of the direct victim are eligible to file individual claims for mental health counseling on their own behalf. This applies when the direct victim dies as a result of the act of terrorism; when the direct victim is under 18 years of age or is incompetent or incapacitated at the time of the act of terrorism; or when the direct victim is rendered incompetent or incapacitated as a result of the act of terrorism.
  • Verification of victim/claimant: ITVERP will verify, through the applicable investigating law enforcement agency, that the victim and claimant listed on the application are associated with the act of terrorism. In most instances, this information is obtained from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Office for Victim Assistance (OVA). For family members applying for reimbursement on behalf of their loved ones, ITVERP will review documentation to verify the relationship between the applying family member, or designated legal representative, and the direct victim.
  • Designation of an incident as an act of international terrorism: The corresponding incident must first be designated as an act of international terrorism for the purposes of ITVERP before the Director of OVC may authorize reimbursement. The authority to make this determination is delegated to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security. A current list of designated incidents can be found online. Upon receipt of an application linked to an incident not yet designated as an act of terrorism, OVC submits a request for designation to the National Security Division.

Eligibility of Expenses

Once claimant eligibility is established, OVC reviews all expenses for eligibility under the ITVERP program. This two-part process involves—
  • Expense verification: A claimant must submit their application with an original signature and copies of original receipts for each expense. At the OVC Director’s discretion, a claimant may submit a signed statement that explains why receipts are unavailable, itemizes and describes each individual expense, and certifies that the information and expenses listed are accurate to the best of the claimant’s knowledge. Based on the information submitted, the OVC Director may consider an itemized statement of expenses in lieu of receipts. ITVERP will verify each expense submitted by contacting service providers and vendors to confirm the amount of the expense and that it is directly linked to the terrorist act.
  • Collateral source verification: The claimant must also submit complete and accurate information regarding all other financial resources that are or may be available to offset expenses. ITVERP will work with the claimant to review all potential resources for payment or financial assistance, which often include—
    • Insurance (health, disability, property, etc.);
    • Workers’ compensation;
    • Medicare or Medicaid;
    • Social Security benefits;
    • Foreign governments or private entities; and
    • Other victim assistance or emergency assistance programs (state compensation programs, etc.).

It is important to note that, if a claimant has been awarded compensation through a court judgment against a foreign government that has not yet been paid, the amount of this judgment is considered a collateral source under ITVERP, and the ITVERP reimbursement will be reduced accordingly.

Recommendation

Once the claimant’s eligibility and expenses have been verified, ITVERP staff make a recommendation for disposition of the claim to OVC. Final determination of the ITVERP award is made by the OVC Director.

Claim Determination and Payment

Exhibit 4 lists the ways a claim can be decided by the OVC Director.

Exhibit 4: Claim Determination Categories

For those claims that are processed as full or partial payment, claimants in the United States receive payment via direct deposit; claimants outside the United States receive payment via an international electronic funds transfer. All reimbursements are made in U.S. dollars. If a claimant submits a request in a currency other than U.S. dollars, the payment is converted using the official U.S. Department of the Treasury, Financial Management Service’s foreign currency exchange rates.

Appeals

Once a claim has been approved or denied, OVC sends a letter to the claimant outlining the decision and explaining the appeals process. Claimants have the right to appeal a final decision within 30 days of receiving the determination of their claim. Appeal requests are sent to the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, who reviews the claim and renders a final determination.

PART II: ITVERP Assistance and Outreach: Reporting Period of September 2011September 2012

This report summarizes the International Terrorism Victim Expense Reimbursement Program's (ITVERP) activities during the September 1, 2011, through September 30, 2012, reporting period. For this reporting period only, 13 months of program data are captured in order to produce subsequent program activity reports that align with the federal fiscal year. This report covers two main areas of ITVERP assistance—application processing and claims payment, and public awareness activities undertaken to reach out to potential claimants. A discussion of future program needs and improvements is included at the end of the report.

Program Highlights

  • ITVERP completed reimbursement of its first claims (32) received from Foreign Service Nationals who were victimized by the August 7, 1998, bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • ITVERP established points of contact with all branches of the U.S. Military and their respective benefits offices to help determine collateral source coverage for military victims and surviving family members.
  • ITVERP conducted outreach to more than 300 individuals and 30 government and nongovernment organizations.
  • ITVERP trained more than 10 contract staff to support claims processing in the case of a large terrorist incident. These surge staff are available to provide additional coverage and ongoing support to ITVERP program staff.
  • ITVERP, through its internal audit practices, identified an overpayment made to a claimant based on a debt owed at the time of reimbursement that was later waived. ITVERP obtained a full reimbursement in the amount of $24,354.

Reimbursement Activities

This section highlights the activities and accomplishments related to ITVERP's main function of processing applications for reimbursement, including—

  • The number of applications received;
  • The status of claims;
  • The current processing time for claims;
  • Details regarding reimbursements paid to claimants; and
  • The number of appeals under the program to date.

Applications Received and Processed

During this reporting period, ITVERP received 35 new applications for reimbursement. The applications reflect terrorist incidents dating from June 14, 1985, to May 20, 2012. Exhibit 5 illustrates the number of applications received during each ITVERP reporting period since the program's inception in 2006.

Exhibit 5: Applications Received by ITVERP.

Status of Claims

As claims reach certain phases in the application process, OVC assigns them one of four related statuses. Claims may be in process for several weeks while eligibility and expenses are verified and additional information is gathered. Frequently, claimants initiate the application process but do not provide complete information. Claimants have 120 calendar days from the time ITVERP receives their initial application to provide the necessary information or the claim will become inactive. A claim is also considered inactive if the claim is denied. A claim is considered paid after a claimant receives payment.

At the end of this reporting period, there were 26 active claims, of which 23 claims were in process and 3 claims were pending incident review and designation by the National Security Division (NSD). ITVERP has paid 171 claims, denied 39 claims, and designated 25 claims inactive/unresponsive since the implementation of the program in 2006. Exhibit 6 presents the status of all ITVERP claims.

Exhibit 6: Status of All ITVERP Claims (as of September 2010)

Foreign Service National Claims

During this reporting period, ITVERP completed 32 claims received from Foreign Service Nationals (FSN) (also known as locally employed staff) who were victimized in the bombings of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, on August 7, 1998. These claims represented the first claims ITVERP received from FSNs. Of the 32 FSN claims, 3 were not eligible. Of the remaining 29 claims, 21 were injured victims and 8 were surviving spouses of deceased FSNs. The total amount reimbursed for 29 of 32 claims was $76,316.20.    

Processing the Kenyan FSN claims presented some challenges as well as opportunities for interagency collaboration. ITVERP identified and established points of contact within the U.S. Department of State's Office of Casualty Assistance, the Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, and the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Agriculture to verify the victims and to confirm the claimant's relationship to the victim. Issuing payments to the claimants posed a challenge. Due to Kenya's predominantly cash-based economy, most of the claimants do not have bank accounts, and many banks in Kenya do not transfer money electronically. As a result, ITVERP facilitated issuing paper checks and coordinating payments with award letters for the claimants through Embassy staff in Nairobi. The U.S. Embassy staff in Nairobi played a key role in facilitating contact with the claimants and scheduling meetings so that claimants could physically receive their awards. Without their assistance, ITVERP reimbursement awards may have been more difficult to disperse to the Kenyan claimants. ITVERP continues to receive claims from victims of the bombing and now works regularly with the U.S. Embassy staff in Nairobi to facilitate payments and award letters. Of the 35 new applications received during this reporting period, 6 are from Kenyan FSNs. 

Processing Time

To process claims, ITVERP requires verification of claimant eligibility and confirmation that submitted expenses are processed in compliance with ITVERP regulations. Generally denied claims require less time to process because ITVERP does not have to wait for the application to be completed by the claimant or for expenses to be verified to determine the applicant's eligibility. However, depending on the reason for the denial, claims may undergo victim verification and the incident designation process prior to the claim's dismissal. For example, if victim verification requires coordination with an investigating agency other than the FBI, it may take time to identify the agency responsible for verification. Also, if an incident is submitted to the National Security Division (NSD) for a designation of terrorism, it may take time for NSD to determine whether the event qualifies as a terrorist incident for the purpose of ITVERP.  The scenarios described above may all impact review time, thus lengthening the denial process. Exhibit 7 shows the average length of time it took to process the 171 paid claims and the 39 denied claims completed at the end of this reporting period.

Exhibit 7: Average Length of Time To Process ITVERP Claims.

Exhibit 8 shows the percentage of time spent on different steps in the claims process, broken down by paid and denied claims.

Exhibit 8: Average Time Spent Processing ITVERP Paid and Denied Claims.

Reimbursement Requests by Expense Categories

Potential claimants who incurred multiple expenses as a result of their victimization may apply for reimbursement in more than one expense category. ITVERP case managers work closely with claimants and potential claimants to assess and fully identify their needs to ensure they receive the maximum reimbursement allowed. Exhibit 9 shows the number of reimbursements requested, by expense category, during this reporting period. Many claimants applied for reimbursement under multiple expense categories.

Exhibit 9: Number of Reimbursement Requests by Expense Category.

Reimbursements Paid by Expense Categories

Since 2007, ITVERP paid a total of $1,440,013 on 171 requests for reimbursement. Exhibit 10 shows the percentage of reimbursements paid out by each expense category during the reporting period. Many claimants applied for reimbursement under multiple expense categories.

Exhibit 10: Estimated Future Liability of ITVERP.

Appeals

Under ITVERP regulations, claimants may file an appeal within 30 days of receipt of a final determination on their claim. During this reporting period, no official appeals were filed.

Future Liability

Claims that are in process represent an estimate of ITVERP's potential future liability. If all the claims that are in process are paid in the amounts requested, including the remaining balances on partial payments, ITVERP's future liability is $155,838. Exhibit 11 shows ITVERP's estimated future liability by type of reimbursement.

Quality Control

ITVERP regulation 28 C.F.R. § 94.42 requires a victim to reimburse the program if it is determined that an award either was based on fraudulent information or was an overpayment.  Through its internal audit practices during the reporting period, ITVERP identified an overpayment to a claimant when the claimant's creditor later waived the debt owed at the time of reimbursement. The program notified the claimant of the new information on the claim and requested that the overpayment of $24,353 be returned to OVC.  The claimant promptly returned the funds.

Program Updates

A change to the ITVERP regulation, effective April 11, 2011, authorized the OVC Director to use discretion in extending the filing deadline for ITVERP applications based on a showing of good cause. Of the 35 applications received during this reporting period, 21 requested and were granted a filing deadline extension.

Promoting Public Awareness

Victims of terrorism must focus on the immediate medical, mental health, family, housing, and other needs of themselves and their loved ones. Many victims and their families are not aware of the resources available to them. A critical ongoing effort for ITVERP is outreach to inform victims of international terrorist incidents and their families of the assistance this program offers. Outreach activities are focused on two primary groups, potential claimants and collaborating agencies and organizations that may have contact with potential claimants. This section describes the outreach efforts that took place during this reporting period and provides information on the ITVERP Resource Center.

Outreach to Potential Claimants

ITVERP outreach efforts focus on victims of international acts of terrorism and their family members who may be eligible for reimbursement under the program. OVC coordinates with the Office for Victim Assistance (OVA) within the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) to identify potential claimants. When terrorist incidents occur outside the United States and involve U.S. citizens, DOS is the first to respond, locating and identifying U.S. citizens. In most cases, OVA can immediately respond and, where appropriate, identify ITVERP as a potential resource and provide victims or their family members with information about the program. For the victims and family members who choose to apply, ITVERP case managers determine eligibility and provide support and assistance throughout the claims process.

During this reporting period, ITVERP sent more than 1,000 outreach letters and made followup phone calls to more than 200 potential claimants. When e-mail addresses were provided, ITVERP conducted outreach via e-mail. ITVERP also sent outreach letters to all the United States Attorney's across the country and spoke with former Ambassadors to Tanzania and Kenya. Of all these activities, the most challenging obstacle continues to be obtaining accurate contact information for individuals. Many letters are returned to ITVERP because the person is no longer at that address and phone numbers are disconnected. For example, of 98 followup phone calls made to potential claimants, ITVERP case managers spoke with only 2 potential claimants on the list—the rest of the phone numbers were incorrect, disconnected, or the individual was no longer associated with that number. To address these challenges, ITVERP used various online search engines to obtain current, accurate contact information for potential claimants; however, these tools do not provide contact information in any chronological order, thus information yielded from these sources may not be current.

Interagency coordination has also enhanced ITVERP's outreach to individuals. During this reporting period, OVC, OVA, and DOS coordinated efforts to identify and conduct outreach to 298 potential claimants. With materials provided by OVC, OVA disseminated ITVERP information in the immediate aftermath of the shooting in Frankfurt, Germany, on March 2, 2011.

Outreach to Collaborating Agencies and Organizations

Another goal of OVC's outreach efforts is to educate the victim assistance community, including collaborating agencies and potential partners, about ITVERP. By reaching out to national and international organizations, and individuals that may come into contact with victims of international terrorism, OVC increases awareness about ITVERP and the resources available.

During this reporting period, ITVERP provided direct outreach and program materials to the Consular Chief at the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay, and to the U.S. Embassies in Madrid, Spain, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

In addition, OVC worked with the victim witness coordinator in the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York to expand outreach efforts to victims of the U.S.S. Cole and Khobar Towers bombings. During this reporting period, OVC conducted targeted outreach to government and nongovernment entities such as the Peace Corps, all branches of the U.S. Military, DOS, universities that facilitate study abroad programs, religious organizations working abroad, and international journalist associations. ITVERP identified points of contact within the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, and conducted outreach via phone calls and e-mail to them. In addition, ITVERP provided 200 brochures to the officer responsible for training all Casualty Affairs Officers for the Army around the world. The military has been very receptive to ITVERP outreach efforts and has become an allied partner in determining when it is appropriate to refer potential claimants to ITVERP. For example, the U.S. Army Human Resources Command, Office of Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Operations Center, is working closely with OVC to provide referral information for ITVERP applicants to the military in order to exhaust their military benefits before receiving any reimbursement under ITVERP.

ITVERP Resource Center

The ITVERP Resource Center responds to questions and requests made through its dedicated toll-free hotline and e-mail address. Program staff are available to respond to inquiries Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. eastern time. Federal, state, and local government agency staff and nongovernment organizations contact the Resource Center for information about the program's eligibility requirements on behalf of specific individuals, and to provide information about potential claimants that might qualify for ITVERP reimbursement. Similarly, ITVERP staff respond directly to victims who call the hotline requesting assistance with their applications, inquiries about the types of expenses the program covers, and the program's eligibility requirements. For non-English speakers and translation support, ITVERP staff use their individual language capacity if the caller speaks Spanish, Farsi, or Romanian, or accesses the language line for assistance to communicate effectively with any potential caller. This allows for real-time communication with the caller. All congressional inquiries received by OVC are promptly directed to OJP's Office of Communications. During the reporting period, OVC received no written inquiries from congressional offices requesting information on specific ITVERP claims submitted by their constituents.

Incoming and Outgoing Contact With ITVERP

 ITVERP Hotline Calls: ITVERP received 459 calls and made 488 calls.

ITVERP E-mails: ITVERP received 684 e-mails and sent out 811 e-mails.

ITVERP Online

Claimants and potential applicants can obtain information about the program, including eligibility criteria, reimbursable expenses, and instructions for filing an application, from the ITVERP Web page. Potential claimants can download the ITVERP application, instructions, checklists, and supporting documents directly from the site, which also provides a list of answers to frequently asked questions to assist with the application process. During the reporting period, OVC enhanced the page to include an updated list of NSD-designated terrorist attacks.

Future Program Needs and Improvements

While there have been important achievements since ITVERP began, OVC must ensure that resources continue to be readily and easily accessible to victims and their families. During the past year, OVC gained valuable information that will guide future enhancements to ITVERP. For example, as ITVERP grows and claims require more sophisticated analysis to determine expense eligibility, the program requires a more robust data management system. Such a system could allow for claims-driven policies to inform current and subsequent claims while also maximizing the program's efficiency at managing claims. Similarly, a more comprehensive system would enhance service delivery to victims by providing greater transparency into the ITVERP claims process and allow program staff to produce more accurate and detailed reports.  

Enhancing customer service and communication with claimants continues to be a program priority. OVC will continue to focus on customer service, including reviewing the mechanisms available to ITVERP that can improve claims processing times for victims, and staff communication with victims and families applying for reimbursement. Additionally, OVC recognizes the importance of collaborating with other agencies and organizations and will continue to expand its partnership network.

As ITVERP continues to assist victims and their families in the aftermath of international terrorist incidents, OVC enhances its outreach and customer service efforts. In the coming year, OVC will focus on cultivating annual outreach efforts to allied agencies and updating the ITVERP application and accompanying materials to be more user friendly. Feedback from victims, families, and stakeholders continues to be important to OVC. In an effort to better capture claimant feedback, OVC plans to implement a customer feedback mechanism to capture claimant experiences and identify areas for program improvement. Program staff will continue to expand language access to ITVERP, where appropriate, for victims with limited English proficiency and improve the ITVERP Web site with enhancements based on the principles of plain language.